Tuesday, 13 December 2016 00:00

1st Memorial Lecture in honor of the slain Senior Principal State Attorney, JOAN NAMAZZI KAGEZI

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ODPP, with support from the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) held the 1st Memorial Lecture in honor of the slain Senior Principal State Attorney, JOAN NAMAZZI KAGEZI at Imperial Royale Hotel Conference Hall on 28th of April 2016

The theme of the Lecture was “Fighting Terrorism and organized crime”

and the Lecture was delivered by Advocate Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions of South Africa.


The Directorate set up the War Crimes and Terrorism Department


Ms. Joan Kagezi, was the 1st head of the Department of War Crimes and Terrorism, which was set up in 2008, in a bid to strengthen the efforts of the ODPP in fighting terrorism. It adopted a prosecution led investigations strategy to ensure that evidence secured was reliable, dependable and admissible in court. This involved working with the investigators right from the commencement of the case, giving direction to the investigations, identifying the critical legal issues and ensuring that charges are supported by cogent evidence.


Joan’s work as head of the Department saw her involved in the handling of many cases of terrorism, notable among them was the July 2010 Bombings case where about 76 people lost their lives and scores more were injured. The Al shabaab took responsibility for the bombings.  Investigations confirmed their involvement in the training, financing and participation in the bombings at Kyadondo rugby club and the Ethiopian village. After a complex investigation in which she was closely involved, 15 suspects were produced in court and charged for various terrorism offenses. It was during the prosecution of this case that Joan was tragically shot down on the 30th of March 2015.


She was also handling several cases involving the terrorist killings of Muslim clerics in the country, international human trafficking and war crimes including the Kwoyelo case. The latter was in respect of atrocities committed during the LRA Northern Conflict in the country. 

Joan was a hardworking and diligent prosecutor, skilled in the art of prosecution and had a strong determination to see justice delivered. 

Investigations into her murder are still ongoing.

The Rationale of hosting the memorial lecture

The lecture under the theme “Fighting terrorism and Organized crime” was intended to draw the attention of the Public to the nature of threat posed by terrorism, the different forms of terrorism offenses and to educate them on the mechanisms so far adopted nationally and internationally. It was in honor of the Late Joan Kagezi’s contribution to the fight against terrorism.

Terrorism in Uganda

Uganda has experienced several acts of terrorism perpetrated through the Lord’s Resistance Army in the northern part of the country, the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) operating mostly from the western part of the country and even from the Al shabaab militant group which staged attacks on the people of Uganda in response to Uganda’s support for the AMISOM.

Uganda and the East African region is vulnerable to terrorist activity.

Measures to combat terrorism include strengthening the Directorate’s capacity to handle cases and prosecute them successfully, sharing of information, intelligence and evidence across borders and joining efforts to work together with police, security agencies, the army, the public, international organizations and other States.

Other measures include improving identification, seizure, freezing and preservation of assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations and ability to convert intelligence information into evidence. Terrorists are covert actors whose actions result into mass murder and mass destruction.  Use of surveillance and undercover officers then become necessary. Intelligence is a primary tool to ensure that terrorist plans are stopped before taking place.


The public is a very important stakeholder in the fight against terrorism. The first weapon against terrorism is the individual. Their eyes, their senses and their perceptions can be used to detect and combat terrorism. It was crucial therefore that the public is engaged by creating public understanding of the many faces of terrorism, and educating t



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